Sometimes we all need a little sweet, vegan treat and these baked beauties certainly fill the bill! These delightful cupcakes serve double duty in your menu plan. Sans the frosting, they make tasty breakfast or snack muffins. Add the frosting and they magically turn in to a decadent dessert cupcake, making the perfect party indulgence. A yummy way to shake off those wintertime blues!
I love incorporating shredded carrots into vegan baked goods. They add great flavor, enticing color, moisture and excellent texture. In this recipe, shredded carrots help to bind the cupcakes together too. Carrots are the perfect addition to many plant-based recipes like soups, salads, casseroles, stews, stir fries and they make a classic dipper for dipping into hummus. So let's go carrot crazy with these scrumptious little cakes!
Makes 24 Mini-Cupcakes
12 ounces vegan cream cheese, at room temperature
3⁄4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄3 cup peeled and grated carrot
2 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 cup brown sugar, maple sugar or sucanat
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup peeled and grated carrots
3⁄4 cup raisins
1 cup vanilla nondairy milk
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive-oil
1⁄2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line one 24-cup or two 12-cup mini-muffin tins with paper liners. To make the frosting, put the vegan cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl and stir vigorously until smooth and well blended. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 24 hours.
Put the carrot garnish in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
To make the cupcakes, put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the sugar and stir with the whisk to combine.
Add the walnuts, carrots, and raisins and stir until coated with the flour. Stir in the nondairy milk, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and mix just until incorporated. (If the mixture seems too “loose” add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until the batter is thick enough to form soft peaks).
Divide the mixture among the lined cups. The cups will be very full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Put the pans on wire racks and loosen the sides of each cupcake with a knife. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the cupcakes from the pans (you may need to cut the tops apart before removing them from the pans if they have over-flowed and fused together). Let cool completely for 40 minutes to one hour.
Spoon or pipe a generous amount of frosting over the top of each cupcake. Top with a bit of the carrot garnish, placed artfully in the center of the frosting. Covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, leftover mini-cupcakes will keep for about 2 days.